Summer / Fall / Winter 2017
Festivals / One-Offs / To Support
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Jamil Rashad, a/k/a Boulevards, is the embodiment of funk. Taking queues from pioneers such as Prince, Rick James, and Earth Wind & Fire, Boulevards seamlessly delivers cheeky, party-themed jams that range from raw and risqué to soulful on his debut LP Groove! read more…
Jamil Rashad, a/k/a Boulevards, is the embodiment of funk. Taking queues from pioneers such as Prince, Rick James, and Earth Wind & Fire, Boulevards seamlessly delivers cheeky, party-themed jams that range from raw and risqué to soulful on his debut LP Groove!
From an early age, Jamil’s father, a R&B Radio DJ, exposed him to jazz, blues, and R&B. This pushed him to get involved in the city’s local music scene early on in his youth. In his teens, he embraced the punk and metal scene in his hometown of Raleigh, NC; genres that would later go on to influence Rashad’s songwriting by way of their tight technical precision and power. After an art school education and several stints in local bands, Jamil rediscovered and returned to his first true love: funk.
Boulevards evokes a spirit from a time that combined intricate production with a focus on rhythm and getting people back on the dance floor. With Groove!, Boulevards does just that. On tracks like “Patience,” Rashad melds pop with vintage hip-hop elements – think Eddie Murphy meets The Sugarhill Gang – and it just works. “Cold Call” introduces a slow hypnotic groove before a symphony of synths, creating a rhythmic cadence that stays with you even after the party is over. However, to give Groove! Merit solely based on nostalgia would be a mistake. Groove! is not just a rework of a classic sound – it is an intelligent collection, an evolution to reign in a new era of funk – heard via the disco pulses on the tracks like “Weekend Love” and “Up On Your Love,” nodding to industry giants like Pharrell and Breakbot.
Bringing back producers Roller Girl! And Taste Nasa, who helped craft his critically received self-titled EP. Groove! delivers catchy songwriting, infectious bass lines, and plenty of hooks to keep you grooving until dawn, a clear indicator that there is still room for funk in 2016 – and that room will be occupied by Boulevards.
“a lyrical celebration of the empty kiss and the kiss-off, but with words that seem to exist strictly as textures and layers to serve the beats. The rhythms are taut and pulverizing.” – NPR [on “Honesty”], 2015
“Rashad luxuriates in a nest of rhythms and flashing percussion” – FLOOD, 2016
“a new wave of slow-grooving, slap-inducing funk fated to hold you hostage the moment that hook-line lets loose and sinks in.” – Complex [on “Got to Go”], 2015
“a head-bopping, neo-funk jam; a sonic time machine to a supa-fly ’70s dance party.” – Spin [on “Sanity”], 2015
“They invented the standing desk so that you could respond appropriately to something like this dropping while you’re at work.” – FLOOD, 2015
“a particularly slinky take from Rashad, sashaying as it does around a falling synth line reminiscent of Bowie circa “Let’s Dance” or Prince’s self-titled record.” – FLOOD [on “Cold Call”], 2016
“It exudes early ’80s Motown, from its chirruping synths to its nasty, strutting bassline…” – Indy Week, 2015
“glittery riffs, groovy bass lines and smoother-than-caramel vocals” – Cool Hunting, 2015
“the type of polished, slap-bass-lick-strutting groove that demands your attention and your feet to move, boasting sharp synth stabs, chicken scratch muted guitars and a heavy hook.” – Okayplayer, 2015
“Musician Jamil Rashad sounds like a modern disciple of Rick James, reared on much of the popular funk that dominated the ’80s, but with a an ear to the ground of contemporary dance, funk, and soul music as well.” – The Nerdist, 2015